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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Four Men Convicted Of Participating In A Large Heroin And Crack Cocaine Distribution Ring Out Of South Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA – Yesterday a federal jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts against four men from Philadelphia, Basil Bey, 28, Reginald White, 31, Tyrik Upchurch, 30, and Amin Wadley, 26, in connection with their participation in a large heroin and crack cocaine distribution group.  Bey, White, Upchurch, and Wadley were each convicted of one count of conspiracy and one count of distribution of a controlled substance. Bey and White were also each convicted of one count of distributing a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a playground.

As presented at trial, from at least April 2015 through December 2016, Bey was the leader of a narcotics distribution group that sold heroin and crack cocaine nearly 24 hours a day, seven days a week to customers in South Philadelphia. The group, which included White, Upchurch, and Wadley as members, sold its customers narcotics by use of a cellular telephone, which would result in the delivery of narcotics by vehicle. Members of the group worked shifts in order to serve their narcotics customers day or night. Bey, Upchurch, and Wadley also maintained residences around Philadelphia in order to store and package the narcotics for distribution.  Due to the dedicated efforts of law enforcement in this case, approximately thirty-five controlled purchases of heroin and/or crack were made from this drug group—all captured on video.  Law enforcement also lawfully obtained a wiretap that captured some of the group’s activities on its telephone. 

Basil Bey and Amin Wadley each face a mandatory minimum term of 10 years’ imprisonment, with a maximum statutory sentence of life in prison and other penalties.  Tyrik Upchurch and Reginald White each face a mandatory minimum of 20 years’ imprisonment, with a maximum statutory sentence of life in prison and other penalties.  U.S. District Court Judge Gerald McHugh has not yet scheduled sentencing hearings for the four men. 

Five other coconspirators of Bey, White, Upchurch, and Wadley have already pleaded guilty and await sentencing. Jerome Lyles, 33, of Philadelphia, was also indicted* as part of this narcotics distribution group, and a reward is being offered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for information that leads to his arrest.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Philadelphia Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jason Bologna and Kevin Jayne.

* An Indictment is an accusation.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated December 20, 2017